The North East LEP area is including Community Led Local Development (CLLD) strand as part of the European Social Fund Inclusion funding theme area.

CLLD is a specific tool which:

  • Focuses on specific sub-regional areas that cover a population of between 10,000 and 150,000 residents.
  • Is community-led, by local action groups (LAGs) composed of representatives of local public and private socio-economic interests, with at least 50% of the decision-makers not being representatives of public authorities.
  • Is carried out through integrated and multi-sectoral area-based local development strategies which:
    • take into consideration local needs and potential.
    • include innovative features in the local context, networking, and where appropriate co-operation. 

CLLD is intended to:

  • Encourage local communities to develop integrated bottom-up approaches in circumstances where there is a need to respond to territorial and local challenges calling for structural change.
  • Build community capacity and stimulate innovation (including social innovation), entrepreneurship and capacity for change by encouraging the development and discovery of untapped potential from within communities and territories.
  • Promote community ownership by increasing participation within communities and build the sense of involvement and ownership that can increase the effectiveness of EU policies. 
  • Assist multi-level governance by providing a route for local communities to fully take part in shaping the implementation of EU objectives in all areas.

On this basis, CLLD can be used to tackle a very wide range of challenges in different types of area by:

  • Building on two decades of the application of LEADER in rural areas; particularly in promoting new forms of urban rural cooperation and partnership.
  • Extending the approach included in the last European programme which was targeted specifically at fisheries and coastal areas.
  • Facilitating closer co-operation at a local level within urban areas – this could take a number of forms:
    • Small neighbourhood-based approaches – which could involve deprived city neighbourhoods, industrial districts, brownfield sites, suburbs, etc.
    • Smaller cities, market towns, and their surrounding rural areas.
    • Thematic approaches dealing with a particular urban challenge, such as unemployment and the labour market, social exclusion, urban mobility, or local plans for energy efficiency.
    • Target group approaches focusing on, for example, young people, Roma, women or migrants.
    • Empowering local communities, including disadvantaged groups as a means to tackle unemployment and social inclusion issues.

NE LEP area Community Led Local Development programmes

Following a two stage application process during which local areas had to form Local Action Groups and develop a CLLD strategy for delivery of the programme in their areas to meet local needs and utilise local opportunities, five CLLD programmes are now delivering in the NE LEP area.  If your organisation operates in any of the CLLD areas, visit the relevant websites for more information on how you could get involved and the latest funding opportunities.


The CLLD area covers most of central Gateshead, stretching along the southern banks of the River Tyne from Dunston to Pelaw, encompassing the town centre and south to Chowdene. The total population is around 105,000. The area was chosen due to high levels of disadvantage and the proximity to key employment centres including Team Valley Trading Estate, central Newcastle and Follingsby (with links to the new EZ proposal). It offers a coherent economic geography linking areas of advantage and disadvantage. 

Visit the Gateshead CLLD webpage

Newcastle/ North Tyneside

The North of Tyne CLLD area includes the 20% most deprived wards in Newcastle (from Benwell, Scotswood to Walker along the river and parts of Fenham, Blakelaw, Kenton and Woolsington wards) and Wallsend in North Tyneside.)    

View an update on the Newcastle Council website

Visit the North of Tyne CLLD website.


Focused on the most deprived areas of Sunderland’s urban core (including Washington), extending from Hendon and the city centre in the east to Washington in the west, along the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor.  The project will target the most serious disadvantage, particularly those that rank in the top 10% IMD, including specific clusters in Southwick, Hendon, Redhill, Pallion and Sandhill. 

Visit the Sunderland CLLD webpage.

North Durham

Area encompassing Dipton, Annfield Plain, Stanley, Chester-le-Street and Sacriston. 

Visit the North Durham CLLD webpage.

South Durham

Area encompassing Spennymoor, Bishop Auckland and Shildon. 

Visit the South Durham CLLD webpage.